My country, my leaders — Paneir Selvam

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MAY 19 — “We must each always think first of Malaysia, of the national need and least of ourselves. Everyone must try to help and see that the people are one-minded, with loyalty and one aim, to make Malaysia – the land we love-a happy abode for all of us. If we all do this then we can guarantee liberty, security, prosperity, and happiness for the future.” — Tunku Abdul Rahman

Our founding father of this nation had a clear vision for our country. Even though, we are independence state but our minds still by colonised by “modern” domestic imperialists. As Tunku has quoted we have to put the interest of this nation above own interest.

Our love for this nation is unconditional. Further, he has aspired that if all Malaysians can work together than the country will be prospered in future.

Our paramount duty as the citizens of this nation is to keep the sovereignty and create a better place for our next generation.

Whether our country is on the right path to achieve this aspiration?

Do we have the visionary and patriotic leaders to materialise this aim?

We are just the ordinary citizens. We don’t understand the political games. But, we care for this country. We desire to have leaders who are care for this beloved nation.

Our current and future economic situation is so bleak. Ordinary people lost their jobs. Now, families with more than three children in a real hardship. Rural folks facing unprecedented adversity.

We just wanted to know from our leaders, is there any solution for these problems?

Nelson Mandela in his autobiography has cited that the most enduring example of leadership and affirmation of human dignity in the face of racial oppression (during the apartheid era), lies in the transformation that he underwent during almost three decades in jail. Further he stressed that his contribution is to be assessed as somebody who carried out decision taken by that collective.

Nelson Mandela is a statesman who scarified his life for his people and to his nation as a whole. In Malaysia, our founding fathers including our first prime minister had such a quality. Most recently, we have witnessed, Tok Guru Nik Aziz possessed such an eminence.

Leaders must or at least willing to sacrifice for their nation. Great leaders like Mandela, Gandhi, Tunku, Jose Rizal and Tok Guru Nik Aziz had shown this characteristic. Therefore, they are highly revered as the ultimate asset in their country.

Al-Farabi, one of the greatest Islamic philosophers, had alluded that a good state is a natural state and it is only natural for human beings to want to be happy and further he said it is the responsibility of the state to insure that its citizens be happy.

As the citizens of this nation, are we happy now? The answer is no.

With the current political and economic uncertainty, we are not happy. In accordance with Al-Farabi, it is the state’s/leaders’ obligation to make its citizens happy.

For an example, recently, the notion of rule of law is not been observed properly. Even though the law must treat everyone equally and the law must be supreme but lately these notions were become less eminent.

We are enormously understanding the difficult phase facing by this nation. We are willing to do anything for the benefit of this nation. But, we also expecting our leaders to contribute by scarifying their personal interest for the betterment of this country.

Political morality is a practice should have possessed by all leaders. Some good statesmen like Mandela, Gandhi and Tok Guru Nik Aziz had infatuated with such a quality. Their political judgement and policies are based on the political ethics.

Further, a good leader should also have the character of accountability, transparency and integrity. In past three decades, we are lacking of such leaders in this country.

In a democratic process, the leaders are representative of their people. They are voices of people. They must listen and accommodate to the public wishes. Not the other way around. They are servants to the people. A good leader will command his people wisely but an autocratic leader will rule his own people deviously. The latter will be enthroned unexpectedly and the punishment will be austere.

In a mature democracy like in United Kingdom (UK), the people role to determine their destiny is very essential. Former Prime Minister, David Cameron had a referendum on March 23, 2016, as a part of his election promise. He is very much in favour for UK to be remained within European Union (EU). But, the people went against with his wishes. He resigned immediately and Theresa May becomes the new prime minster.

In 2017, she called for a snap election to get a good mandate from people to execute her plan for Brexit. But, her conservative party’s lost majority in Parliament. Later, her proposals were defeated. In 2019, she resigned and Boris Johnson elected as Conservative leader. He becomes new prime minster. He called for a snap election with one promise that he needs a full mandate to take out UK from EU. His party won landslide victory and on 31 January this year, UK is out of EU.

This Brexit saga shows that the leaders have to obey and accomplish the aspirations of people. If they fail, then through the general election these leaders can be voted out by the same people.

Most of the corrupted and autocratic leaders have had the mind of imperialist. With the power and money, they possessed, they falsely believed they are supreme. The history had proven in multiple occasions that these leaders will be removed and punished by people. For example, Charles Taylor from Liberia and Ferdinand Marcos.

John A. Hobson is an English economist. His book, Imperialism was published in 1902. He argued that, “the services offer the cleanest and most natural support to an aggressive foreign policy; expansion of the empire appeals powerfully to the aristocracy and the professional classes by offering new and ever-growing fields for the honourable and profitable employment of their sons.”

The ruling class always has the mind of imperialist. The elite group in any society wants to control the public and nation for their own political and economic gains. For them, the “outsiders” are subservient to them and they have the right on them forever. They will control the public with money and reward them with aids. Further, they will use race and religion as factors to influence the public’s mind by creating anxiety and fear to get their support to rule them.

Immanuel Wallerstein is a sociologist. He defined “a world-system is a social system, one that has boundaries, structures, member groups, rules of legitimation, and coherence. Its life is made up of the conflicting forces which hold it together by tension and tear it apart as each group seeks eternally to remould it to its advantage. It has the characteristics of an organism, in that is has a lifespan over which its characteristics change in some respects and remain stable in others... Life within it is largely self-contained, and the dynamics of its development are largely internal.”

Based on his theory, his political arguments are firstly, the States are used by class forces to pursue their interest. Secondly, imperialism means the control of dominant countries on the weaker states. Thirdly, hegemony define as the dominant state briefly outshining others and conserve power for their gain. This power is impermanent as to the class struggle which will flow with technical rewards. He concluded that it is a class tussle.

The rise and fall of any dynasty or empires in the world theatre is inevitable. When they fall, they will create a hostile environment to be retained in power. Naturally that will work against them. The fall of British and Mughal empires and the political parties like Kuomintang, LDP and Congress are the evidence. This theory illustrates that position and power in politics is not perpetual. The good deeds that the leaders have contributed to the people and country is always well reminisced and they are considered as the statesmen.

In a nutshell, Malaysia needs good leaders. These leaders must be noble and patriotic people. They must be visionary. The sovereignty of this country is paramount. The leaders must protect the interest of this nation from emerging new neo-colonialist.

The main reason for many failed states arisen from leaders who are incompetent, corrupted and egocentric. These leaders put their interest more than state’s interest.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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